My life on the night shift at the DBS call centre

16 January 2024

“A parallel universe – that’s how I’d describe the way I’ve lived for the last eight years.

My daily commute to work starts past 10pm, on vastly empty trains, and I squeeze in with the morning rush hour crowd after 8am to return home after my night shift ends as a Customer Service Officer (CSOs) in the DBS Customer Centre.

As the city sleeps, and the office floor lays still and quiet, I’m among a team of CSOs, or “Night Riders” as we call ourselves, who answer the bank’s 24/7 emergency hotline reserved for fraud, lost cards, and scams.

Scammers often target victims in the early hours, as they’d often be asleep, and disoriented if woken up. We tend to notice a huge uplift in calls when new scam tactics are introduced.

In a recent case, I blocked a customer’s account after he called in to report that he had received foreign transaction attempt notifications after he clicked on a link. Even as I moved to block his account, I could see more transaction attempts still being made.

He thankfully didn’t lose any money, and I received a heartfelt e-mail from him: “I am eternally grateful to this Angel who saved me and my family. Her good work means so much to society.”

I remember smiling for the rest of the shift, when I received that compliment.

It’s commendations like these that reaffirm my decision to remain in customer service, and tide me through those tougher days when the words uttered to us might not be as positive, and have the opposite effect.

In total, I've been a CSO at DBS for 11 years. Beyond helping customers who call in, we’re also often on the alert to identify new scams, and piece together patterns to form new modus operandi. As the team manager, I compile this information into reports to disseminate to other CSOs and our anti-scam team.

We also make call backs to our customers living overseas in different time zones, like the Americas.

When I first made the switch to night shift, it wasn’t easy. I’d sacrifice my sleep to meet with friends and speak with my family.

I’ve since gotten better with managing this different “lifestyle”. With my time inverted, I’m more intentional with planning time to spend time with my loved ones.

I’ve also grown to love the solitude of the night, and the companionship of my fellow Night Riders.”

- Jessica, Customer Service Officer